For the next 6 week’s in a row dancehealthier will be featuring 6 Dancer Profile’s from dancers all across the nation. This week’s entry begins on top with the lovely, graceful, beauty who has commanded PNB’s stage, Lesley Rausch. Enjoy and share her beauty to many.
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Name: Lesley Rausch
Vocation: Principal Dancer, Pacific Northwest Ballet.
Defining moment onstage to date: I’m not sure I an pick just one moment. I’ve been so fortunate to have many opportunities in the last few years to dance roles that I’ve always hoped to dance. One of the most special memories for me is the first time I danced Aurora in Sleeping Beauty. It was my first full-length ballet, other than Nutcracker. It was an incredible experience and one I cherish greatly.
Favorite style of dance: We are privileged at PNB to dance a really varied repertoire. I really love dancing classical full lengths, but I also enjoy Balanchine ballets (Agon is a favorite) and other contemporary ballet choreography (Forsythe, Kiliyan, Dawson). It’s hard to choose one style because they are gratifying in different ways and it’s the artistic challenge that makes them each special in their own way.
Inspiration: I’m inspired by many things, but often times, it’s the music that drives me to dance. We are so fortunate to have an incredible orchestra at PNB and dancing to live music is so fulfilling. My favorite ballets are the ones in which the choreography is very musical.
Favorite dance wear brand I tend to wear all different kinds of dance clothes, but some of my favorite leotards are made by Elizabeth Murphy who also dances with PNB as well as the Eleve brand.
Favorite energy breakfast: I usually start the day with a protein shake smoothie.
Favorite thing to do on a “day-off” from work: My days off vary depending on how tired I am from the week of work. If it’s been a really challenging rehearsal period, I usually try to relax and rest. If I’m not too exhausted, I go take a yoga class. I always find time to connect with friends.
Balanchine’s, “Diamonds”, Photo Credit: Lindsay Thomas.
How do you blow off steam: Yoga is usually a good way for me to unwind and relax. Sometimes just watching a movie can help change my mood. Talking to friends or family is always helpful if something is bothering me.
Why do you think integration of dance & health is needed: As dance evolves and becomes more athletically demanding, it’s very important for dancers to be able to find a healthy ways to maintain their bodies. Good nutrition and cross training are vital. In order to be able to dance at our highest capacity and extend our careers, it’s important to take these things into consideration as we train and perform.
“Giselle”, Photo Credit: Angela Sterling.
What’s next for you: There are a lot of exciting ballets coming up this season at PNB that I can’t wait to dance: David Dawson’s “A Million Kisses to My Skin,” Alexei Ratmansky’s “Don Quixote,” Kent Stowell’s “Swan Lake,” and William Forsythe’s “In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.” I’m also working on a Stott Pilates certification, so it’s going to be a busy year!